by Beth Slutsky and Nancy McTygue
Shennan Hutton is one of our most popular colleagues. Teachers have told us for years that they genuinely appreciate her sense of humor, her practicality, and her understanding of and support for world history teachers. At one session we held this year, one teacher told us that Shennan was “extremely helpful and provided clear answers.” Another answered our question of how we could improve by simply demanding, “More Shennan.”
This quarter Hutton is teaching hundreds of students at UC Davis online, like most teachers. She is recording videos, answering “zillions of emails,” and spending time on Zoom. She says remote instruction, “is not the same as seeing my students in person; I miss them terribly.”
Despite her university teaching responsibilities, Hutton volunteered to record a special video for 6th, 7th, and 10th grade world history teachers to share some of the lessons she’s learned in decades of teaching – both at the K-12 and university levels.
Hutton begins with an introduction of her own world history distance learning context. Then, she cheers on teachers on to challenge their students one more time at the end of this historic school year. She offers practical guidance - providing specific lessons and sources – and she offers the enthusiasm, depth of knowledge, and understanding that encourages teachers to end the year in a strong spot.